St. John’s, Antigua
Date: 24 April 2018
Port: St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
Time on Island: 8am-4:30pm
Distance between St. Kitts and Antigua: 104.17 km or 56.25 nautical miles (64.73 miles)
Antigua was our only port that we didn’t prebook any tours. We were ready for a relaxing, anything can happen sort of day. The more time we spent talking with people on our cruise, the more we realized how easy it was going to be to see the island without a guided tour. Thankfully, Karen and Richard also didn’t prebook anything, so we decided to spend the entire day together.
We started our morning with the usual buffet breakfast and coffee before heading to the lower deck to disembark. Like the other two ports, Antigua greeted us with the traditional sounds of steel pans! I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of steel pan or Soca music so I love being greeted by the beautiful music on the walk between the ship to the port shops.
We weren’t totally sure what we wanted to do in Antigua but none of us really cared. We were all ready for a relaxing day with just our little family of four.
Hiring a Taxi
One of the things I love about the Caribbean is the ease of hiring a full day taxi. Together, we decided it was going to be the easiest way to see a lot of the island for a decent price. Upon arrival at the port city, we located the taxi stand, and for a very good price, we hired a taxi.
Our tour guide for the day was this cute elder gentleman who spent the morning explaining to us the current state of their sister island, Barbuda.
If you don’t know anything about Barbuda, then known this. Barbuda was the worst hit island of Hurricane Irma, getting slammed with the eye of the storm. At this point, April 2018, the island was still consisted to be uninhabitable. Eight months post hurricane and the tiny islands 2500 residents where still living on Antigua. Antigua, thankfully, was out of the direct path of Irma, although still received some wind and rain, and a little damage.
We started our drive through the city slowly making our way one of the harbours our guide recommended. Our tour guide stopped several times to give us a little history and backstory to the island. He even took us to a beautiful overlook where we took some cruise family photos.
Falmouth Harbour is a large harbour located on the south part of the island. It is located pretty close to For George Monk’s Hill National Park, and has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
After we wandered soaking up the beauty, we enjoyed a few Caribbean rum drinks at a local bar, Skullduggery. I was able to sample a small amount of Skullduggery Rum, right out of the barrel. I needed some comparison with Cruzan Rum and Bacardi Rum. Skullduggery Rum is distilled and bottled in Antigua and it was delicious!
Driving the Island
After we finished at the marina, it was off to the beach. But, before we reached the beach, our drive stopped several times at AMAZING overlooks. The water, I’m not even kidding, was the bluest water I’ve ever seen.
These overlooks were what I was hoping for when I decided to take the cruise. I wanted to see how similar and how vastly different the beaches, the water, and the cultures were on the many islands that make up the Caribbean.
In addition to the overlooks, our driver made several pitstops to tell us about the pineapples that are grown on the island. It’s a big industry here with many government ran pineapple plants. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a pineapple growing in real life and it’s so fascinating how they grow from the bottom up.
We ended our tour of Antigua with a beer at a beautiful beach called Darkwood Beach. Karen, Richard, Darren and myself spent likely an hour taking boomerangs, photos, and videos of us being silly. It was hard to get away from the white sandy beach and the Caribbean Blue waters. It was a perfect end to our time in Antigua.
Back on Board
Once we were back at the port, we didn’t dillydally too much. We immediately returned to the ship and did the usually routine: go to the cabin, shower, and get ready. Since we returned to the ship early, Darren and I had some extra time. We decided to head to the lower deck and enjoy a nice little walk. It was perfect timing too as the ship was pulling away from Antigua and the sight of the island was beautiful.
I must say that one of my favorite things were the towel creatures our cabin crew, Randy would make each night. It just showed a little extra step in the turn down. It would always put a smile on my face to end each night. Thank you Randy for always ending our days with such a delight and smile! Our next island was the beautiful island of St. Lucia!